Eating healthy and in tune with your goal in training is essential to having good results. So a quality pre-workout meal can make all the difference in your muscle performance and recovery.
Below, we will show you that it is possible to make an inexpensive and highly nutritious home pre-workout supplement to boost your workouts.
Amid so many brands and types of industrialized supplements that promise to give you extra energy and incredible results, it is even difficult to choose which pre-workout supplement to use.
Know that you do not have to spend your fortune buying your supplement ready every month. It is possible to prepare your own homemade pre-workout with cheaper ingredients and, best of all, that suits your real purpose.
Your performance and the physical results observed during a certain training time are highly dependent on your nutrition. In addition, the pre-workout should be chosen based on the type of exercise you do. That is, it is essential to think individually in the ingredients of your supplement so that they can really help you perform better on a specific type of activity.
But how so?
Simple, some ingredients work by increasing strength. Others act on increasing resistance. That way it is important to know the function of each ingredient to assemble your best home pre workout supplement.
Next, we separate the main ingredients used in pre-workout supplements and how they work in the body to better understand how to assemble the perfect pre-workout supplement for your goal. In addition, you will learn how much of each of these ingredients you will need to get the best results. Come on?
How to do your homemade pre-workout?
Creatine is an amino acid naturally present in our cells. It is also used as a dietary supplement to increase strength and power in training. Research shows that it is able to safely increase strength, muscle mass and performance in physical activity.
According to a study published in the scientific journal Advances in Therapy in 2012, creatine is very important for producing energy inside cells. This explains the extra strength that this supplement is able to provide.
That way, creatine is an indispensable ingredient in your home pre workout if you’re looking to increase muscle strength and overall performance in hypertrophy training. Generally, when you start using the supplement, the indicated one is to take 20 grams per day divided into several servings. After a few days, that dose should be decreased.
According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it is indicated to consume about 0.3 grams per pound of body weight per day for 3 days. After this stage, you should start the maintenance dose, which ranges from 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day to keep creatine levels constant in the body.
That is, a person weighing 70 kg should ingest 21 grams of creatine per day during the 3 days of adaptation and then reduce that dose to a serving of 3 to at most 5 grams per day.
Caffeine is a common substance in our day to day life. Found in coffee, in various types of teas and in some foods, caffeine is able to stimulate the brain and increase alertness, avoiding signs of fatigue, for example.
Thus, caffeine can improve exercise performance by increasing potency or stimulating muscle strength. This can be used not only in bodybuilding, but also in aerobic activities such as running and cycling. In addition to the stimulating effect that allows you to feel no fatigue during training, caffeine is a thermogenic that helps speed up metabolism.
A study published in 2010 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that the recommended dose of caffeine to improve physical performance should be between 3 and 6 milligrams of caffeine per pound of body weight.
Thus, a person weighing 70 kg needs to ingest a portion of caffeine from 210 to 420 milligrams per day.
Avoid taking doses much larger than this because too much caffeine in the body can cause adverse effects like sweating, difficulty sleeping, tremors, dizziness, vomiting and fast heart rate. If you are sensitive to caffeine, start by testing a smaller dose and increase gradually.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that, like caffeine, helps fight muscle fatigue. Thus, the use of beta-alanine before training can help improve physical performance, especially in intense and long-lasting exercise. This means that beta-alanine is useful for aerobic or HIIT training, for example, and less effective in bodybuilding workouts that may be intense but comprise short-lived repetitions.
This supplement works by neutralizing acids that accumulate in the body during physical activity and cause the feeling of tiredness in the muscles.
According to the 2015 study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the recommended daily dose for improving physical performance is 4 to 6 grams of beta-alanine, which can be divided into several portions throughout the day.
Avoid taking doses higher than this so there are no adverse effects such as a tingling sensation on the skin.
Citrulline is also an amino acid produced naturally by our body. Supplementation helps maintain constant amino acid levels in the body to contribute to physical performance.
A 2011 study published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that citrulline is able to increase blood flow. This helps to provide more nutrients and oxygen to the muscles so that they perform better in physical activity.
In 2010, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that participants who used citrulline were able to perform about 53% more repetitions than those who did not use the supplement. In addition, citrulline significantly reduced muscle soreness after exercise.
Citrulline is usually found in two forms: L-citrulline or citrulline malate. The recommended daily dose of L-citrulline is up to 6 grams while that of citrulline malate is at most 8 grams per day.
Despite the recommendation, according to a study published in 2008 in The British Journal of Nutrition, doses of up to 15 grams do not cause side effects. However, since it is a very effective supplement, it is advisable to start with lower doses of about 2 grams and increase as needed.
This ingredient is not a supplement but a common substance used in cooking and house cleaning. Like beta-alanine, sodium bicarbonate is able to neutralize the accumulation of acids in the body due to physical activity. Thus, it works by reducing the burning sensation and fatigue during exercise, which allows you to work harder during the workout.
Usually, bicarbonate is indicated for those who do intense activities that usually give the sensation of burning, like running and cycling.
According to a 2015 study published in the journal Sports Medicine, the ideal dose to improve physical performance is 300 milligrams per kg body weight. That means a person weighing 70 kg would need to take 21 grams of baking soda.
It is possible to use the powder found in pharmacies and supermarkets or tablets containing bicarbonate.
To avoid side effects like stomach pains, split the dose during the day or start using a little less to see how your body adjusts.
BCAAs are branched chain amino acids which comprise 3 types: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are all called essential amino acids that are found in animal protein foods.
They are important in supporting muscle hypertrophy, providing muscles with amino acids important for muscle growth. In addition, studies show that the supplement helps to improve physical performance and reduce physical and mental fatigue in workouts in addition to reducing post-workout muscle pain.
Despite this, some studies dispute the effects of BCCA on the body and believe that the supplement does not work for everyone.
Still, the BCAA does not hurt, since it is found naturally in several foods, and is worth trying in your homemade pre-workout. Doses range from 5 to 20 grams per day and attention must be paid to the proportion of amino acids in the supplement. This ratio may vary, but the most common is to find a ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine of 2: 1: 1.
Nitrate is a compound found in various vegetables such as turnip, spinach and beet. In addition, small amounts of nitrate are also produced naturally by the body.
According to a study of Natural Reviews Drug Discovery published in 2008, it may be good for improving physical performance because it is converted to nitric oxide in the body, a molecule that helps improve blood circulation.
Thus, it allows better oxygenation during the activity, being especially useful in aerobic exercises like cycling and running.
The indicated dose of nitrate ranges from 6 to 13 milligrams per kg of body weight. So a person who weighs 70 kg would have to ingest something between 420 to 910 milligrams of nitrate per day.
However, some researchers still prefer that people get nitrate from eating foods like beets until further studies on the efficacy and safety of using the supplement are completed.
Some natural ingredients choices
If you do not want to use supplements, there are also common foods that you can use to prepare a homemade pre-workout like a shake or a pre-workout drink.
Saffron or turmeric can be found in the form of powder. It helps reduce the risk of pain and inflammation after training and increase the body’s ability to turn carbohydrates into energy.
Flaxseed oil helps improve fitness and control the release of sugar into the bloodstream, allowing you to have energy for longer.
Coconut water is the best natural isotonic you can use in home pre workout. It contains about 15 times more potassium than most isotonic drinks and more than one banana. So it helps in preventing muscle cramps and still keeps you hydrated.
Aside from being yummy, adding blueberry to your homemade pre-workout helps provide antioxidants and vitamins to your body. This fruit also helps improve performance due to the increase in energy levels in the body.
Yogurt is a great source of protein that helps your muscles in recovery after training, as well as making them available during the workout. In addition, a homemade pre-workout shake containing yogurt is delicious.